From the technical side I consider myself as a good amateur photographer, but what totally bothers me is that I am not creative, on the contrary. Since five years ago when I started with photography as a hobby, I don't think that I have came up with anything original that I would publicize and be proud of. Over the course of exploring photography as a hobby, I have tried more than a few photographic techniques: playing with long exposure shots (traffic, waterfalls, and star trails), landscape HDRs, street photography, light painting, macro, time-lapse and others. I have learned the techniques following online tutorials and managed to reproduce photos in the examples.
But after learning how to shoot, I have realised that I lack the creative component to create something original. Surfing Flickr really makes me depressed: regardless of the technique, people with a lesser equipment have great ideas and create stunning and creative shots leaving me only to follow them. While I would be happy if someone would use a photo of mine for self-education, many of the photos can be considered unique that trying to do something similar can be considered as mimicking and cheesy.
Perhaps I am exaggerating and expecting wonders in a crowded hobby, but anyway, my question here is: is it bad to mimic other photographers to counterbalance one's lack of creative skills? If yes, how to develop creative skills?